Chapter Four, Part One
The Art of Forgiveness
Psalm 103 NKJV
This lesson may very well be the most important and applicable lesson on forgiveness. It’s certainly the subject I’ve dealt with when helping people forgive.
I’ve found that it’s easier for believers to forgive others than it is for them to forgive themselves.
I’ve known people who have “held onto” something they did years and years ago. They can’t seem to forgive themselves.
It makes me wonder if the answer for forgiving ourselves lies in developing and strengthening how we connect with God.
Certainly, scripture is clear about how God feels about forgiveness. In Psalm 103:1-5, David wrote:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
David through his whole self into verse 1. He made his point up front when he said, let all that’s IN me praise God’s Holy name. In the second sentence, he tells his readers he will not forget the benefits God gives us. Then he lists them item by item:
God forgives our sins
God heals us
God redeems us from destruction
God crowns us with His loving-kindness and tender mercy
God satisfies us with good things
God renews us so we are strong like an eagle.
The list David made is well thought out and comprehensive. It’s almost as if David is looking back over the course of his life remembering what God has done for him.
David is using the comparison of our weakness to the strength of the eagle in what God is promising to give us. We are weak but God is strong as Paul wrote in Corinthians 12:9-10: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
We need to think in terms of God’s promises in this section of Psalm 103 for us today. Insert yourself into each sentence. Claim the promise God gives.
God forgives me.
God heals me
God redeems me from destruction or harm
God crowns me with loving-kindness and tender mercy
God satisfies me with good things
God renews me so I am strong like an eagle
That’s how much God loves you!
David goes on to say in Psalm 103:11-12:
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
The point David is making it this section is that GOD DOES NOT HOLD ONTO OUR SIN.
When we turn to God and ask Him to forgive us, He casts it as far as the east is from the west. That means when we think about the shape of the earth (which David didn’t actually know about) when you travel east and continue traveling east, you will never meet the west. And if you travel west and continue traveling west you will never meet the east.
In other words, your sins never meet. They are gone forever.
If David would have said: As far as the North is from the South, that would have been a different story. That’s because when you get past the North Pole and continue to travel, you start going South. In other words, the North does meet the South. David did not know that either.
The Spirit gave David the words, east to west because God was making a point. God is saying, your sin is gone. It will not be remembered.
So, here’s the point…if God doesn’t remember it, why would you?
I tell people to let it go. God let it go and now you need to let it go.
God’s mercy is for you.
God has moved your sin from you.
Now, you need to receive God’s mercy and let go of your transgression.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Let Go
Whatever you are holding onto, you need to remember that God HAS forgiven you. God has cast your transgression as far as the east is from the west and God has removed your sin forever. FOREVER.
Let Yourself DO what God has already done!
In God, Deborah